I plan to make a guacamole dip and one of the ingredients is Serrano pepper, which is 10,000 to 23,000 heat units by the Scoville scale.

That is way too spicy for me.

Which one of the milder peppers (100-2,000) would be a good replacement?

  • 2
    One option is to simply use less of 'em, especially if their primary purpose is for heat. – derobert Mar 30 '11 at 15:39
  • 4
    Also, the capsaicin (the hot substance in any pepper) is concentrated in the membrane that holds the seeds. Strip that out and the pepper will be much milder. – ElendilTheTall Mar 30 '11 at 16:03
  • 1
    I second Elendil's comment - have you actually tried a carefully seeded serrano in anything? I may have a higher tolerance than you, but it doesn't seem very hot to me at at that point. – Cascabel Mar 30 '11 at 17:07
  • @Jefromi: No, I haven't consciously tried a hot pepper of any kind. Only once, jalapeno, with seeds, by mistake. Not fun. – z-boss Mar 30 '11 at 17:32
  • 1
    Then how do you know that a serrano minus seeds and membrane, as a small part of guacamole, is "way too spicy"? A raw, intact jalapeno by itself would be a bit much for me too. – Cascabel Mar 30 '11 at 17:47

US Jalapeno and Anahiems (red jalapenos) are usually under 2,500. If you cook them a little bit, it will also reduce the spiciness, while maintaining the flavor.

  • Did you mean fry or boil them? – z-boss Mar 30 '11 at 16:52
  • 2
    I would throw them into the frying pan with a little bit of oil. Boiling might work, but I haven't tried it. BTW, what other people said above about removing seeds is crucial. – michael Mar 30 '11 at 18:25

Anaheim peppers make a nice substitute, first in reducing the heat (500-5000 scoville), but also in terms of its availability and similar flavor. It does frequently run on the hotter end of that spectrum though.

  • You were right about availability. Anaheim was easy to find and worked perfectly (seeded and raw). – z-boss Apr 1 '11 at 17:20

You can just omit them if you don't want any heat. Otherwise, Anaheim or Jalapeno would be fine choices.


Chopped green peppers are a great substitute if you absolutely don't want any hotness to your dish. I used poblano peppers are a great substitute and they register as a'1' on the hotness scale.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.